Alliance forms for e-gov industry standards
- By Daniel Keegan
- Jun 20, 2000
The electronic government industry is still so young that it has not formed
industrywide standards, but a provider of electronic government services
has announced an alliance to establish a code of e-gov conduct.
E-government service provider govWorks Inc. has partnered with Arthur
Andersen and American Management Systems Inc. to provide a "vision for best
practices" for the e-government industry in order to ensure public trust
and encourage fair business practices. The company hopes others follow.
"We've concluded that because this is a new field there isn't the kind
of attention in the research community and capital markets — in an organized
way — to effectively ensure confidence in buyers and users in the system,"
said Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, chairman and chief executive officer of govWorks.
Isaza Tusman said some companies exaggerate their services and experience.
Other issues related to the use of privacy statements and disclosing whether
information is sold to third parties, revealing "convenience" fees often
charged to pay for World Wide Web portals, and misleading company subsidies
or branches that compete against each other for bids.
The alliance's code of conduct has five main points:
* Adopt strict consumer privacy policies that prohibit the improper
use and resale of consumer data to third parties.
* Disclose all fees and other costs associated with e-government services.
* Accurately represent the number and scope of e-government products
and services offered.
* Accurately represent corporate structures and affiliate relationships
that may affect selection of vendors.
* Help bridge the digital divide and ensure universal access.
Isaza Tuzman said he hopes the alliance will help open a discussion
among companies and the government about these issues so that the business
will not be regulated.